With a flurry of interest in land claims on this board, It is important to
temper your expectations.
As a direct descendant you should be aware that:
1. Your share is most likely fractional: owned jointly with other heirs.
You potentially could be sharing ownership with as many as 50 other people
in Slovakia. If these are your grandparents or great grandparents, then all
their descendants (your siblings, aunts, uncles and their descendants) will
also share in a proportional ownership.
2. Your fraction could be as little as 1/256th or LESS due to hereditary
succession laws (American-style "wills" are not customary.)
3. Getting a group of joint owners to decide to do anything with the
property is a Herculean effort. This is one reason why we see abandoned and
deteriorating property in rural Slovakia villages today.
4. Joint share ownership by any unknowns after this fall will pass to state
ownership. Do you really want to jointly own land with the state?
5. Most of our immigrant ancestors came from small, rural villages. Most of
these land parcels are a few acres at the most. Land values in these
regions may only be US$100 per acre. You share may be "worth" only a few
dollars by the end of it all.
6. Even if everyone can agree, there is no real market for these properties,
consequentially, there are hardly any buyers.
7. Most locals cannot afford to "buy out" each others shares.
I strongly believe that if you make a claim that you should in-turn release
it to one or more of the families that live in Slovakia today. It is their
families who had to suffer through two world wars, poverty, communism,
disease and difficult living. In my opinion, they deserve the land share.
Our ancestors escaped this, with no expectation of property ownership or in
going back again. We indeed have received much more than our Slovakia
ancestors ever will.
Please don't promulgate the stereotype of the "greedy American" whose only
interest is in laying claim to the "family farm", which is many people's
biggest fear. They have suffered as subjects to so many, now that they
finally have their independence, we should support them. Let's give
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